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Stop kicking the can of religious worms!

By Yahaya Balogun
04 July 2022   |   3:38 am
Today, we are collectively on the march again to where we were yesterday and yesteryears. With our tribal and ethno-religious politics.

Tinubu. Photo/facebook/officialasiwajubat

“The world is a beautiful place, but bad people take away its beauty.” – Tami Balogun. June 12, 2022.
“If you are emotionally attached to your tribe, religion, or political leaning to the point that truth and justice become secondary considerations, your education and exposure are useless. If you cannot reason beyond petty sentiments, you are a liability to mankind.” – Dr. Chuba Okadigbo. Jul 2, 2020

Today, we are collectively on the march again to where we were yesterday and yesteryears. With our tribal and ethno-religious politics. Again, we are mutually kicking the CAN (can of religious worms) of division down the road to our collective and mutual destruction in Nigeria. Why are we who we are when it comes to religion and tribalism? Aren’t we supposed to be humans with different tongues and languages but with brotherhood and humanity?

First, I am a humanist from the cradle and before I grew up to understand that I am a Muslim. The pertinent question is: what if I was born a Nigerian atheist, a Christian, Hindu or Buddhist, Taoist or Sikhist, etc.? I weep for Nigeria. Interestingly, my family’s values inspire me a lot. I motivate my family, and we encourage one another. Third, I am a devoted and liberated Muslim. My father made his children comprehend the tenets of Islam before we knew Muslims or any religion. If I were born to any of the religious faiths above, I would have probably been one of them, too, and you too would have probably experienced the same thing.

Without any contradictions, what development has religion in Nigeria brought to Nigerians other than misery, division, underdevelopment, mutual hatred, physical and mental insecurity, etc.! Religion is supposed to be a means of salvation but most Nigerians have turned it into a means of division and wealth accumulation. But at the delicate juncture in our nation’s history, I think Senator Ahmed Tinubu is a political pugilist and master strategist. Jagaban knows the winning formulae to choose from to defeat his opponents politically. It always amuses me to see people engaging in brawls with others to defend Jagaban. A man whose anointing oil is gifted insults he receives from his political opponents. Hear the master strategist:

“Some people get easily angry whenever they see me being insulted. I think that is childish. I’m a politician and it is my right to be insulted. It is my right to be called names; it is my right to get bad wishes from whoever I outrun in the polity.”

The way Asiwaju Tinubu brilliantly assuaged the minds of Muslim voters by picking Professor Osibajo, a Christian, was eminently inspiring and brilliant. However, I hope religion doesn’t destroy the impending great opportunity we have now to see changes we are all yearning for in our dear country. But unfortunately, we are in a confused, contradictory, and debilitated (in a very weakened and infirm state) nation (Nigerian) in search of a true identity! Ó máà ṣe ó òòò…! I shake my head for Nigeria.

In my political permutations, it isn’t a political Uhuru for BAT and APC yet. The APC’s formidable ticket will be advantageous and a winning formula with Tinubu. BAT’s pairing with a well-acceptable northern Christian or Muslim, also from the North East, will leverage APC’s victory. Get a formidable northerner (Christian or Muslim) on Tinubu’s ticket and watch the opposition and PDP run in undue haste, confusion, disorder, or helter-skelter. Atiku is no match for a political pugilist like Jagaban. I see a carnival-like campaign for Tinubu in the next coming months. It’s going to be a coagulation of talented Nigerian artists routing for BAT’s victory. I look forward to the political agog.

In a nutshell, for Tinubu’s electoral victory, my preferential choice of a northerner (Muslim or Christian) will go for Babanga Umara Zulum and a Muslim, or Yakubu Dogara, a Christian. Babagana Umara Zulum was born, on August 25, 1969. Zulum is a Nigerian professor and politician. He is the serving governor of Borno State in the 2019 Governorship to date and is also an amiable, vastly likable, and performing Borno State leader. But unfortunately, the people of Bornu are not likely ready to send their incredible governor to the Federal Government. With much persuasion, it might happen.

On the same hand of achievement, Dogara is well-versed in education, a good and quintessential Christian from Northeast Nigeria. Yakubu is a strong advocate of road rehabilitation and infrastructural development. Although Yakubu was born on December 26, 1967, Dogara began his education in 1976 at Gwarangah Primary School in the then Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area of Bauchi State. After graduating in 1982, he proceeded to the Bauchi Teachers’ College for his secondary education, obtaining a Grade II Teachers’ Certificate in 1987. In 1988, he went to the University of Jos, Plateau State, where he received a Bachelor of Law (LLB Hons.) degree in 1992.

The two humans are Nigerian. The achievements of Tinubu, a Southern Muslim politician, and these leaders (Zulum and Dagora) from northern Nigeria have no religious connotation. Still, these leaders have excellent credentials to impact their people’s lives. In Nigeria, religion and tribe are toxic to politics, human relationships and the sociology of human beings. Only dwarf and small minds inject religious idiosyncrasies and sentimental nuances of life into how their people are governed.

Finally, whatever a well-informed of BAT’s choice of VP candidature, I am 100 per cent believer in Tinubu’s sense of synergies, inclusion and strategies for complex decision-making. We should scrap mundane politics and emotion at the expense of collective good, whether a Muslim-Christian ticket or a Muslim-Muslim ticket. What should be our national priority is a leader that will engender national integration and development.

Balogun wrote from Arizona, United States of America.